Tradition resident Arthur D’Amato had three goals before he passed away – get out of bed, sit down for dinner one last time with his wife, and be there for the opening of his newest green market, scheduled for Nov. 26 at the Port St. Lucie Polish American Club.
His friend, Kenny Disbrow, said D’Amato, who died last week, was able to check off two of the three goals.
“That was his bucket list,” Disbrow said.
Disbrow will move forward with the green market as he and D’Amato had discussed shortly before D’Amato’s passing.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Disbrow said. “It was my promise.”
The green market will be held on the first, second and fourth Sundays each month from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the club, located at 343 SW Prima Vista Blvd., Port St. Lucie.
Weeks before his passing, St. Lucie Voice spoke with D’Amato about his plans for the market. D’Amato was the one who brought a market to the Port St. Lucie Civic Center years ago.
“We did tremendous business there,” he said in October. Over time, though, a conflict arose between the market and others wanting to use the area.
They moved to Port St. Lucie City Hall for a spell, but that didn’t work out well either. And he discovered they couldn’t move back to the Civic Center.
He landed on the Polish American Club for a number of reasons, including the number of single-family homes in the vicinity along with the targeted demographics. D’Amato played coy when asked what, specifically, he looked for. “This, to me, was a great spot,” he said, noting that there are three churches nearby and, with the market set for Sundays, would provide a crowd of potential shoppers.
D’Amato said he didn’t want the market in Tradition – the community he called home – simply because he wanted one that was more central to the city.
Fort Pierce and Stuart both have markets, he said, which bring people together and help build community. “They draw nice crowds,” D’Amato said last month. “This will build up our community.”
D’Amato had been a builder in Long Island, N.Y., before “retiring” to Florida. He owned five antique shops and four restaurants in Florida and North Carolina.
“I was retired and had nothing to do,” he said, recalling the start of his green market days. He said someone had asked him if he knew about such markets, which he didn’t.
“What the hell is that?” D’Amato recalled as his response. In 2009 or 2010, he got started with opening up green markets along the east coast of Florida. Deerfield Beach, Boca, Port Salerno, Palm City.
“I’m not the kind of guy to lie down and sleep,” D’Amato had said of his active retirement. “I’ve got to keep moving.”
Once the markets are established, they essentially run themselves – if the community supports it, he said.
The Port St. Lucie market will feature farm stands with fresh, locally-grown harvests, home-cultivated honey, jarred preserves, as well as arts and crafts that complement the agricultural feel of the market.
D’Amato had said he planned to have an area for flea market tables, along with food vendors serving up hot dogs and the like.
Each month, a charity will benefit from the proceeds of a food truck invasion. That charity or non-profit will be selected at random, drawn from a hat. It was D’Amato’s way of supporting the community he hoped would support the market.
For more information about the market and how to get a table there, contact Kenny Disbrow by calling 772-345-3303.